Auditor-General orders NSA to refund GH¢180,494

Author: Kweku Zurek
 Prof. Peter Twumasi
Prof. Peter Twumasi

The Auditor-General has asked the National Sports Authority (NSA) to refund GH¢180,494 used for the 2017 National Sports Festival to the management of the Baba Yara Sports Stadium for the replacement of broken seats.

The directive followed a revelation that the NSA surcharged the Ghana Education Service (GES) GH¢203,688 to replace seats which were damaged during an inter-college sports competition at the Baba Yara Stadium.

A performance audit report by the Auditor-General on the Sustainability of Sports Stadia in Ghana in 2019 found out that although the said amount was paid by the GES, the seats were not fixed. Rather, the NSA used GH¢180,494 out of the total amount to organise the 2017 National Sports Festival.

NSA’s reaction
Reacting to the report in an interview with the Daily Graphic yesterday, the Director-General of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Prof. Peter Twumasi, who assumed office in December 2018, said it was misleading to separate the regional office of the NSA from the head office.

He said the said money was used to organise the National Sports Festival in 2017 at the same venue after some organisations had failed to redeem sponsorship pledges for the competition.

"All the accounts of the NSA offices nationwide are linked to the head office accounts in Accra and they require the green light of the head office to apply such funds," Prof. Twumasi told the Daily Graphic in an interview.

"The Auditor is right that if that work has not been carried out, then the NSA must make sure that we find funds to get it done for them, but as we speak, we have secured funds to renovate the entire stadium."

He said extensive renovation works at the facility which commenced in February this year ahead of the 63rd national Independence Day celebrations were on course to be completed in October this year.

Prof. Twumasi, however, explained that the money was spent on the Festival by the former management of the NSA, led by Mr Robert Sarfo-Mensah, a year before he assumed office.

Period and scope of audit
The audit was carried out from August 2017 to December 2018 at the Ministry of Youth and Sports and National Sports Authority and covered the period 2012 to 2018.

The audit focused on oversight responsibilities, maintenance and revenue generation of five national stadia, namely; Baba Yara Stadium, Accra Stadium, Essipon Stadium, Tamale Stadium and the Cape Coast Stadium.

No maintenance manuals
The report also found out that the Ministry of Youth and Sports did not have any policy on operations and maintenance of the various stadia in the country.

"We noted, during our review of maintenance files and interview with Estate Officers of the stadia, that all the five stadia did not have the O&M manuals provided by the contractors.

“According to the Estate Officers at Tamale, Baba Yara, Cape Coast and Essipon Sports stadia, management of the NSA did not provide them with O&M manuals. However, our review of correspondence files at the stadia showed that management of the four stadia did not at anytime make a request to Head Office for the O&M manuals," the report revealed.

"We also noted that all the five stadia did not have budgetary allocations for maintenance. As a result, all maintenance works were carried out on ad hoc basis, that is as and when works were identified and resource were available to fix them".

The report also recommended that to ensure the physical sustainability of the stadia in the immediate to short-term basis, the NSA through the MoYS request for the O&M manuals from the contractors who constructed the stadia and put together a team of experts to evaluate the maintenance needs of the stadia and come up with a sustainable plan for maintenance.

Prof. Twumasi confirmed that currently, none of the national stadia had maintenance manuals for their renovations.

He said a thorough search at the NSA after assumption of office in 2018 revealed that such a document could not be traced, adding that technocrats in his outfit were currently developing such a manual.